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Google Fiber To Launch In Austin, Texas In December

SydShamino Re:Living in KC (88 comments)

And it will take just as long to get it in Austin. The summary says that this was announced back in April, but it was announced (and the linked story is from) April 2013. It's been 16 months to learn that in two months neighborhoods with the same density as mine, but in another part of town, can sign up for fiber. They'll get it some time after that. It seems unlikely to be before 2017 in my neighborhood now.

4 days ago
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Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

SydShamino Re:Cannot stop progress (291 comments)

The weight of cars has increased dramatically due to all the new safety and comfort features. The fact average mileage has improved too impressive.

Go find the gross wt of those 80s cars and compare weight vs power vs airbags vs road noise vs electronic options.

4 days ago
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Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

SydShamino Re:Just tell me (463 comments)

The reason the flu is so scary is because it could mutate into something that kills 70% of the time. And that's just as likely (or moreso) than ebola mutating into something that's airborne. See how easy it is to use that logic both ways?

Anything that might kill us has two parts:
1. Chance of it happening to us.
2. Chance of it killing us if it happens.

Our powerful pre-frontal cortex should multiply the two, and realize that something with a 0.0001% chance of happening and a 70% chance of killing us is no more or less life-threatening than something with a 70% chance of happening and a 0.0001% chance of killing us. But our primitive hunter-gatherer brains increase our fear of rare but occasional events, and downplay our fear of regular events, so we distort that curve.

To pull a few more statistics out of my ass, I bet there are many people who demand the government do everything they can (including suppressing civil liberties like freedom of travel) to protect citizens from ebola, while they simultaneously hate and condemn the government for its efforts to restrict smoking. And I bet more of those people will die (at an otherwise young and healthy age) from smoking than ebola.

5 days ago
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Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

SydShamino Re:Sexism (246 comments)

>> If they work so much now so they don't have time to find someone, is this really the solution to the correct problem?

Why do you presume they haven't yet "found the right man"? Maybe they just don't want to have kids yet, but realize that it's far better/cheaper/safer to extract eggs at 24 instead of 38?

5 days ago
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Facebook and Apple Now Pay For Female Employees To Freeze Their Eggs

SydShamino Re:Really? (246 comments)

That's a question you would need to ask each individual woman. And respect each answer either way.

5 days ago
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PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

SydShamino Re:but (367 comments)

No kidding. Those burning fuels will kill more animals in the long run than the .... zero animals likely hurt by Google.

about a week ago
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The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola

SydShamino Re:Ebola threat (478 comments)

See my reply to the other poster.

about two weeks ago
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The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola

SydShamino Re:Ebola threat (478 comments)

Licking was a comical exaggeration. But curtains are sufficient to separate adult patients and prevent cross contamination, no "separate rooms" necessary. Families with children are a bigger concern but ultimately the safest and most practical course is to keep those kids with their parents, and keep them all at home.

about two weeks ago
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The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola

SydShamino Re:One quote *is* the story (478 comments)

Humans instinctually fear rare events significantly more than common events, even if those common events are more likely to result in danger. It made sense as a hunter-gatherer to run from the rare and strange, but today the instinct is often just lower brain messing with our more-advanced rational thought processes. It's why the average person fears plane crashes far more than car crashes, despite car crashes being statistically a more likely way to die.

Things that might kill you have two parts - the chance of this affecting you, and the chance of the affect being death. People inflate the first for rare events, and downplay it for common events, despite science and statistics to the contrary.

about two weeks ago
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The CDC Is Carefully Controlling How Scared You Are About Ebola

SydShamino Re:Ebola threat (478 comments)

>> Put them all in the same room? Maybe only one or two have ebola. Can't put them in one room, then they'll all get ebola if a few had it.

Not unless they lick each other's bodily fluids.

about two weeks ago
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Chimpanzee "Personhood" Is Back In Court

SydShamino Re:Does that mean they'll get to vote? (385 comments)

Limited liability is a privilege, not a right. Think of anything else corporations today demand - including their new so-called "free speech" - and realize that all of those things can be negotiated away to those voluntarily seeking this limited liability.

about two weeks ago
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Chimpanzee "Personhood" Is Back In Court

SydShamino Re:Does that mean they'll get to vote? (385 comments)

A corporation enjoys special tax and legal status not available to individuals. In exchange for that status, the government can and should demand that they give up their so-called "right" to free speech (the same way non-profit groups can be restricted so long as they wish to retain their non-profit status).

The law should also be changed to make it easier to pierce the corporate veil and prosecute executives, employees, and board members. The defense of "I didn't know what the other guys were doing so I couldn't see the whole picture" should be evidence of conspiracy, not a defense.

Punishment for corporations found guilty of crimes should be more than token fines. Yes, non-employee shareholders of publicly-traded companies enjoy limited liability for those companies' actions, but they do have liability up to the value of the stock. No, it doesn't make sense to give corporations the "death penalty" very often, so long as the company had some legal business, but the government should be better able to seize assets, primarily stock and options, especially from executives. The public will demand more accountability from the companies they own if they know that corporate crime will more often cost them their ownership directly, not just as a blip in profit.

Because government in this country is so limited and the benefits of monopoly (or, more likely duopoly) so immense, corporates naturally grow in size until they are "too big to fail". Again, as with free speech in exchange for special tax status, corporations do not have the right to grow so big or become so vital to the economy that their collapse would lead to destabilization of the country. The government should regularly be reviewing this and taking actions to break those companies up, or prevent the mergers that lead to this situation in the first place. Maximizing efficiency and profits through consolidation when times are good leads to increased instability when times are bad. It is the government's job to regulate the economy to ensure the general welfare, and that includes smoothing both the highs and lows.

about two weeks ago
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Ebola Vaccine Trials Forcing Tough Choices

SydShamino Re:Here's an idea... (178 comments)

While I am not a medical professional, someone out there could argue that a drug designed to prevent more of your healthy X cells from being infected is a vaccine, even if some of your existing X cells are already infected. Substitute white blood, red blood, brain, heart, bone, etc. for X depending on the disease.

Humans are not homogenous and not every cell of an infected person is infected. While such a drug should probably be called both a treatment and a vaccine, language evolves and if people start calling drugs that prevent any or further infection "vaccines", so be it.

about two weeks ago
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Ebola Vaccine Trials Forcing Tough Choices

SydShamino Re:Republican Solution (178 comments)

But explain to us how limiting airline flights from there to here will spread Ebola more rapidly in Africa.

Because if you want to get home, now you need to trek through the jungle to another country first, then lie about having been in an Ebola country.

about two weeks ago
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Why Do Contextual Ads Fail?

SydShamino Re:It's not THAT random (249 comments)

It's not like it's that hard to use past sales to predict relevant purchases; most advertisers are just too oblivious/stupid to figure this out. You might want to order a case of oil or some wax or maybe new insurance, right?

about two weeks ago
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Why Do Contextual Ads Fail?

SydShamino Re:they fundamentally don't get it. (249 comments)

Or, if I liked those boots or whatever - I already bought them. I don't need another pair!

Relevant contextual ads are those that appear before I've settled on or rejected the product in question. They are also for the same type of products. If I buy no-grain dog food or dandruff shampoo, for example, don't try to sell me the regular shit. Finally, give me a reason to click on the ad instead of buying from a usual source. I already pay Amazon for "free" shipping - you need to match that and beat their price for me to bother creating a new account somewhere else. Honestly even if I do want the thing you advertise, I'll probably go to Amazon or the local store and buy my regular brand there anyway (thanks for the reminder).

To be effective, advertisers need to be better able to anticipate needs. This works pretty well some places - at Target, for example, where they use your information to determine if you are having a baby and then send you ads and coupons for things the child will need just before you need them. This is more difficult to track for adults. For the boot example, you'd need to remember that I looked at boots, then advertise boots to me again in ~10 years just as the old pair wears out.

about two weeks ago
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Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

SydShamino Re:Lots of cheap carbon stuff (652 comments)

Having procreative sex is one of the most carbon expensive things we can do.
Someone mentions sex, and you think they mean having babies? WTF? I think we solved that baby making problem part of sex quite a long time ago.

When someone mentions procreative the GP thinks they mean having babies. Since, you know, that's what that means. =p

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is It Worth Being Grandfathered On Verizon's Unlimited Data Plan?

SydShamino Re:T-Mobile (209 comments)

No kidding about international travel. After being so afraid of overages that I left my phone at home from a trip to Europe in 2008, earlier this year I took a work trip to South Korea / Taiwan / Hong Kong / mainland China. As I got off each plane and turned my phone on, the immediate text with "welcome to [country] standard data rates apply" was pretty awesome. I didn't take my laptop - I used my phone exclusively for two weeks.

(Verizon iPhone with a T-Mobile SIM, so yes I could get data in S. Korea despite the country being CDMA iirc.)

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Exploiting Cashier-as-a-Service Providers

SydShamino SydShamino writes  |  more than 3 years ago

SydShamino (547793) writes "Researches at Indiana University and Microsoft found and exploited flaws in the communication between web stores and third-party cashiers (Amazon Payments, PayPal, Google Checkout) to order items for free, or at prices of their choice. "We believe that it is difficult to ensure the security of a CaaS-based checkout system in the presence of a malicious shopper" said the study co-author. The identified flaws have been reported and fixed, but they feel that more, similar flaws are likely given the complicated nature of many web-based transactions."
Link to Original Source
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New British Government Vows to Strengthen Liberty

SydShamino SydShamino writes  |  more than 4 years ago

SydShamino (547793) writes "Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg of the new British coalition government has announced a litany of proposed reforms designed to strengthen individual liberty and privacy, on several topics often championed among Slashdot readers, including: elimination of unnecessary laws to stop making "criminals out of ordinary people", elimination of the national identity card program and new biometric passports, removal of restrictions on the right to peacefully protest, restrictions on schools taking fingerprints without permission, curtailing of anti-terrorism legislation that allowed for detention of subjects for extended periods without charge, replacement of the "first-past-the-post" election system with an instant-runoff system, new regulation of the use of surveillance cameras. "Britain must not be a country where our children grow up so used to their liberty being infringed that they expect it without question," Clegg said.

The Conservative Party of the governing coalition is said to be less receptive to these reforms; hopefully some of them can be enacted before the coalition fails."

Link to Original Source
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Blue M&Ms can lessen the damage from spinal in

SydShamino SydShamino writes  |  more than 5 years ago

SydShamino (547793) writes "Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have found that the dye used in blue M&Ms and other foods can, when given to a patient shortly after a spinal injury, minimizing secondary damage caused by the body when it kills off nearby healthy cells. Given that 85% of spinal injury patients are currently untreated (and some doctors don't trust the treatment given to the other 15%), a relatively safe treatment like this could help preserve some function for thousands of patients. The best part? In lab rats the subjects given the treatment turn blue."
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SydShamino SydShamino writes  |  more than 7 years ago

SydShamino (547793) writes "CNN, the Associated Press and others are reporting that an independent audit of the FBI revealed "serious misuse" of power to acquire private information granted in the Patriot Act. FBI Director Robert Mueller has accepted responsibility for problems and says they are being corrected, but Congress has already called for hearings. There's no word yet on criminal charges against anyone in the FBI who might have broken the law."

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